Rick DuFour maintains that a mission statement elates what stakeholders see as "the purpose of the school." He goes on to say that if the staff cannot instantly recite the building mission statement from memory, the school really doesn't have one. The best statements are meaningful and memorable. They should stretch both staff and students toward a pledge of high academic achievement for all. Can you recite your building's mission statement? Does it truly focus the staff on its purpose?
To change the mission statement of your school, you might consider this starting statement from Graham & Ferriter: "We are a collaborative community that ________ high student achievement." If the staff leans toward words like provides the opportunity, not much will change and the school may not be able to keep pace with the need for interventions. If the staff leans more toward a word like ensures, it is making a pledge to change the way it does business and stretch staff capabilities. A key to gaining a support for a stretch mission statement is to think of it as a pledge rather than a guarantee. Another example of a mission pledge is Lezotte's, "Learning for all, whatever it takes."
1. How will a mission affect the demand for interventions?
2. If your school has an effective mission, please share it.
Building a Professional Learning Community at Work: A guide to the First Year by Parry Graham & William M. Ferriter – 2010